New data offers comprehensive look at early childhood, education and employment realities in First Nations communities
Wed, November 18, 2015
New survey data released by the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) this week provides unprecedented insight into life in First Nations on-reserve and northern communities in Canada.
The data represents the first to be released from the First Nations Regional Early Childhood, Education and Employment Survey (FNREEES, or REEES), a unique First Nations-led survey that explored a wide range of topics impacting life in nearly 250 First Nations communities in 10 provinces and two territories.
Initial key national findings from the REEES, which were released at a conference in Ottawa yesterday, provide a first-look at the survey results which make an important contribution to the overall knowledge of life in First Nations communities.
The key findings of the REEES include:
Early childhood: The majority (90 percent) of First Nation parents reported that their children’s school was supportive of First Nations culture, while 86 percent said it was important that their child learn traditional teachings. Nearly 40 percent of children reported regularly attending cultural activities (i.e., more than once a month).
Education: Two-thirds (66 percent) reported that knowing and learning traditional teachings was “very important” to them. Among First Nations adults, 43 percent had less than a high school diploma, 32 percent had a high school diploma, and 24 percent had completed some post-secondary education.
Employment: Nearly 80 percent work within their community, while just over 20 percent commute outside their community for work. More than 40 percent of those who work in their community work in Governance (i.e., community services or related fields).
The complete REEES data release is contained in a set of five themed infographics that are available to download below.
Launched in 2013, the REEES is a historic one-of-a-kind survey that was designed to provide an unprecedented perspective of life in First Nations communities and help fill the data gap that exists in critical areas including early childhood education and development, youth employment and education, and adult employment and labour force conditions. The survey was conducted in nearly 250 First Nations communities in 10 provinces and two territories between 2013 and 2015, and interviewed more than 21,000 First Nations children, youth and adults.
FNIGC would like to thank the communities for taking the time and participating in the REEES survey process.
The REEES was conducted with the support of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada in partnership with Health Canada and the former ESDC, and carried out in conjunction with FNIGC’s Regional Partner organizations.
The FNREEES National Data Release Conference continues today through November 19th at the Westin Ottawa Hotel in downtown Ottawa and serves as a gathering place for First Nations experts, First Nations community leaders and planners, academics, government representatives and stakeholders.
An incorporated non-profit organization operated by First Nations for First Nations, FNIGC is the premier source of information about First Nations people living on reserve and northern communities in Canada.